Nature Notes

Vol. X June - 1932 No. 6

Flowers of the season

The flowers of the sub-alpine meadows have been well publicized. But little of the floral beauty of the lower wooded slopes have become generally known. Yet it is true that the plants of these localities are as interesting as the more widely known glories of the sub-alpine regions at the height of color and diversity in July and August.

Short walks along the trails in the vicinity of the Nisqually Entrance reveals the beautiful Lady Slipper (Calypso bulbosa) which is the most interesting member of the orchid family native to the park. This plant alone makes worth while a few moments pause at the entrance before continuing on to Longmire and Paradise. Open patches on the forest floor beneath the great firs, hemlocks and cedars which add so much beauty to the park's lower elevations are clothed with masses of Wood Sorrell (Oxalis oregona). The foliage of this plant so closely resembled that of clover that, unless one is aware of the similarity, it will often be mistaken for the clover. But the flowers quickly reveal it as not being remotely related with that more common plant. The Pink Corydalis (Corydalis scouleri), by its foliage gives evidence of its relationship with the familiar Bleeding Heart. It is a tall plant, growing upon succulent stems and one characteristic of the densely shaded forests. Salmonberry (Rubus spectabilis) is also common in places at this time - even, in some cases, having its fruit well along toward the way of maturity.

pink corydalis

fairy bells and violets

One clump of Fairy Bells (Disporum oregonum) was found near the west side highway growing upon a sunny slope just a few feet removed from a deep snow drift. And, of course, another member of the Lily Family (for the Fairy Bells has such connections) the Trillium, is very abundant everywhere. Violets - both the yellow variety as represented by Viola glabella - and the Blue (Viola adunca) are very numerous and line the highway from the park entrance to Longmire as well as add considerable interest and color to the trails. Sweet-after-death or Vanilla Leaf (Achlys triphylla) is in general not flowering as yet but its characteristic foliage is attractive and a prompter of many questions regarding the plant's identity. Star Flower (Trientalis latifolia) is also found in abundance and the Forest or Woods Anemone (Anemone deltoidea) also bids for the botanist's interest. Huckleberry (Vaccinium ovatifolium), several species of Currant and many others are now in bloom -- in fact the flower display, a regular feature at all central points within the park, at Longmire was recently established for the season with nearly thirty species as a start.


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